22 Jan First Fortnight – The art of mental health
Last Thursday 17th Jan we celebrated the third day of this kind locally. A showcase of inclusion, well-being, cross border exchange and the positive role that creative practices can have on your mental health. Amidst nutritionists (who kindly fed us), singers, poets, drama, printing, drawing, needlework, textiles and visual artists I was very much at home. Which was probably a good thing as I was bricking it, I had to do a ‘meet the artist’ presentation and showcase an aspect of my work. I was invited in December and the theme was ‘inside out, again’, I decided to show the pecha kucha from ‘take one artwork and make another’ as an insight to demystifying and illustrate the process of making. How I bring the inside out.
I’m not sure I’d win any prizes for public speaking but I always try to relate, use accessible language and humour to win the crowd. The feedback was positive afterwards and I was invited to speak in Belfast in May. Eeeeek.
The grid game got its first public outing. The tag line was ‘it’s a nonsensical board game, there are no rules’. The presentation I gave a context for the work, that had an interesting outcome. As it wasn’t a traditional artwork in that sense, it would have easily been overlooked amidst the pretty pictures of flowers if I HADN’T given the talk. Maybe the talk was part of the work, it started the dialogue? The paintings were wonderfully executed but not very challenging. Not that everything needs to be a challenge but I feel that visually we are often under stimulated here in the North East of Ireland and so I very much appreciated this platform that allowed my non commercial work to co-exist with dignity.